A year without anti-depressants

So this isn't the most festive of blog posts, but it's been a year since I took my last anti-depressant. It was my birthday yesterday, and it was my birthday last year when I decided that I wouldn't take another tablet.

To anyone reading this who is currently taking anti-depressants, please note that I didn't just wake up last year and decide to stop, I'd been slowly coming off them for about 6 months by reducing my dosage. So if you're thinking of stopping your tablets please make sure you do it properly and don't go cold turkey (a bit of a festive pun for you).

I also wanted to make you aware that it hasn't been smooth-sailing all year. There have been two serious times when I've been close to going back: I still have Depression and Anxiety, that's never going to go away, but it's about how I deal with it. I still have half a packet of tablets that were left-over from when I stopped, and twice I thought about using them, but by using what my counsellor taught me and talking about how I was feeling, I managed to push myself through those periods tablet-free. As the picture shows, recovery is not linear, there are twists and turns, peaks and troughs - I still wouldn't say that I have 'recovered' but I am in recovery. I still have battles to fight, I still have depressive episodes, I still feel anxious and have panic attacks, but that doesn't mean that I've lost the war. However, if you're reading this thinking you've lost because you haven't been able to come off your tablets, you haven't - many battles make up a war and you can't win them all. When my doctor halved my dosage I didn't react or cope well at all, I really felt the difference, so my doctor changed my dosage to having the full dose then half the dose on alternate days. It's about finding out what works best for you. If you can see the same doctor for each appointment it really helps.

I have to admit, I am proud of myself. Some things have been difficult this year, but I have a new job which I am loving, I've moved house (and country, technically), and I haven't taken an anti-depressant for a whole year. I definitely couldn't have got through all this without my friends, family and boyfriend and to them, I say thank you. I know I can be a pain, but you all put up with me and I'm so so grateful for all of you.

To everyone reading, I hope your year has had more positives than negatives and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Speak to you next year,

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